7 Frequently Asked Questions about Using a Russia eSIM (UPDATED)

A Russia eSIM service combines the convenience and flexibility of roaming with the affordability and dependability of a local SIM card.

Planning a trip to Russia and looking for a mobile plan that is economical but still gives you great coverage and connectivity? A Russian eSIM lets you connect to the internet and stay in touch through calls and SMS, AND it won’t cost you the world.

Getting connected is easy with an eSIM. You can have internet access within minutes, before even stepping off the plane. That is just one of the things that makes it such an appealing option to travellers with their hearts set on a trip to Russia.

Want to know more? In this guide, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about getting an eSIM for a trip to Russia.

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What is an eSIM?

An eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identification Module) does what a normal plastic SIM card does (connects devices to cellular services) but an eSIM is embedded inside the device and can be reprogrammed to different mobile networks, easily and at any time.

Using Remote SIM Provisioning, an embedded SIM gets rid of the need to fumble around with plastic SIM cards or wait for a SIM pack to arrive in the mail. It uses this same technology to roam onto local networks around the world, such as Russia.

Related | eUICC and eSIM – what are they?

Does Russia Support eSIM?

Yes, eSIM is supported in Russia.

Although rigid telecommunications regulations and internet censorship is a reality in Russia, eSIM technology has been allowed to roll out across the country. The uptake has been slow, but all the major operators currently support eSIM.

How Does eSIM Work in Russia?

A Russian eSIM service works the same way as any other eSIM – it roams onto the local operators’ networks using remote SIM provisioning. The only additional requirement is that you need to submit a copy of your passport when buying a Russian eSIM.

This is mandatory in order to comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.

Which Networks Does the Russia eSIM Work On?

All the major mobile networks support eSIM, including MTS, Beeline, MegaFon, and Tele2. Several smaller network operators also support the mobile technology.

Our Russia eSIM service currently works on the MTS, MegaFon, and MOTIV networks.

Is Mobile Coverage in Russia Good?

Like many countries, coverage in Russia is very good in cities but unreliable or non-existent in more remote areas. Coverage may also vary from operator to operator.

A high-speed internet connection is guaranteed in cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow. The connection is quite good outside of the city too, but the further afield you go, the more unpredictable that connection becomes.

WiFi is widespread across cities, with most hotels, cafés, and airports offering free WiFi access. However, this service is often exclusively for owners of Russian SIM cards.

What eSIM Plans are Available for Russia?

The major drawcard of using an eSIM is that it offers low international roaming rates, so most of the eSIM plans on the market are data-only bundles. These are geared towards travellers who want mobile services on their eSIM tablets or phones.

eSIM.net was the first eSIM provider to offer a Global Pay As You Go eSIM plan with full mobile support (Voice, SMS, and Data). This includes a separate +44 phone number.

We offer two types of eSIM plans for Russia:

7-Day Data Only

This competitive Russia eSIM is only $13.99 and gives you 1GB of high-speed data that lasts for 7 days. This is an excellent option if you just need internet access.

Pay As You Go Data, Voice, and SMS

The Pay As You Go Russia eSIM plan gives users full data, voice, and SMS services. This plan is suited to travellers who will be in Russia for more than a week.

Why Get an eSIM for Russia?

Russia can be a daunting place to travel to if you aren’t familiar with Russian because English is not widely spoken. Having a phone with a reliable internet connection is essential. Along with offering that connection, an eSIM has 4 other major benefits.

1.     Save on Roaming Charges

Saving money on roaming costs is the biggest drawcard of using an eSIM in Russia.

When you make calls and use the internet on your phone in Russia you will pay an international roaming fee. This can be expensive if you use your phone often.

eSIM providers charge significantly less for roaming than traditional SIM card providers. This means travellers can use their phone and not worry about getting a massive bill.

2.     eSIM was Designed for Convenience

If convenience matters to you, an eSIM service is what you need.

To activate an eSIM service you simply buy an eSIM plan online, scan a QR code, and you’re live! You don’t have to buy a new SIM to get connected and you can have a working mobile connection before you even step off the plane.

This also means you don’t need to wait around for a SIM card to arrive in the mail.

Maintaining an eSIM is also super easy. To check your balance or top up, you simply dial provided short codes into your phone or visit the eSIM providers’ website or app.

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3.     More Coverage

While travelling through Russia, an eSIM lets you roam between operators. This means you can simply switch to a different network if another doesn’t offer coverage in an area.

Local SIM cards, on the other hand, often only work in specific area codes. You would need multiple SIMs if you want to visit different parts of Russia or embark on a cross country journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

4.     Keep Your Home Phone Number

Dual-SIM functionality is a useful feature if you’re travelling to Russia for business and need separate phone numbers for work and home.

eSIM phones usually have a slot for a plastic SIM card, so you can keep your main SIM card inside your phone and use the eSIM for a Russian mobile plan.

Read | Why get a second number and eSIM on your smartphone?

How Do I Get an eSIM for Russia?

Getting a regular SIM card in Russia requires you to find a kiosk or shop, but with an eSIM, all of this can be done online before you even arrive.

This is the simple 5 step process for getting an eSIM plan for Russia:

1. Buy an eSIM online

2. Receive a QR code to your email

3. Scan the QR code with your device

4. Follow the on-screen instructions

5. Enjoy using our eSIM and top-up easily at any time

If you are spending a long stay in Russia or you just want to be permanently connected, a Russian eSIM is worthwhile because it is cheap and easy to get. All you need is a phone with eSIM capabilities and an internet connection.

So what are you waiting for, get connected the easy way, with a Russia eSIM plan.

Still Got Questions?

If you want to find out more about eSIM technology, check out our FAQ page or forum.